Antigua and Barbuda is an independent Caribbean jurisdiction located on three islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Foreigners can obtain citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda by investing from 100,000 USD to 1,500,000 USD in the national funds, business or real estate of the country (the amount depends on the method of investment). This is one of the newest investment programs in the Caribbean, which has been operating since 2013.
On average, the citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda is processed by foreign capital investor in 3-6 months. The main advantages of Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program are the return on investment in real estate and the ability to obtain citizenship remotely. Passport of Antigua and Barbuda is of interest from the point of view of reducing the tax burden: citizens of this state do not pay personal income tax, free of taxes on inheritance and capital gains.
Benefits of holding an Antigua and Barbuda passport
- visa-free travel to 151 countries, including Great Britain, the European Union, Singapore, and Hong Kong;
- obtaining a second passport by all family members and immediate relatives of the investor, including parents over 55 years old, who are their dependents;
- full confidentiality of the procedure for registration of citizenship and identity card;
- citizen status preservation of the actual country of residence;
- S. visa for business and tourism B1/B2 valid for 10 years;
- benefits for admission to educational institutions in Great Britain;
- The right to open accounts in local banks and register businesses on general terms;
- facilitated taxation;
- full freedom to stay in the country and cross its borders.
The main advantage of the passport application program in Antigua and Barbuda is a relatively small minimum investment of USD 100,000. In some other island jurisdictions, the threshold for participation in such programs is significantly higher: starting from 130,000 USD (Vanuatu) or from 150,000 USD (St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada).
Conditions for obtaining a passport of Antigua and Barbuda
Only those investors, who meet the requirements approved by the government of the Caribbean country, can obtain a passport of Antigua and Barbuda. For example, citizens of Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan and North Korea are denied the right to obtain citizenship in the Caribbean jurisdiction of Antigua and Barbuda.
Requirements for the investor
The principal applicant must meet the following program requirements:
- age threshold of 18 years old;
- availability of funds to make investments;
- legal source of income;
- willingness to stay in the country for 5 days or more within 5 years to maintain citizenship status;
- no criminal record or other problems with the law;
- positive business reputation;
- no serious chronic diseases;
- positive migration history.
Having a criminal record or other problems with the law does not prevent one from obtaining a passport, but it reduces the chances of being granted one.
The full list of requirements for applicants for Caribbean citizenship depends on the investment option they choose.
The required documents
The basic documents, necessary for a foreign investor to obtain a passport of Antigua and Barbuda, are as follows:
- an application form for citizenship by investment;
- certificate of photo and signature verification;
- medical report on the state of health;
- proof of making an investment in one of the selected options;
- outputs of the agent submitting the applicant’s documents to the immigration office;
- proof of the applicant’s trustworthiness issued by the police;
- 2 copies of passports;
- birth certificates of children (if applicable);
- internal passport;
- marriage or divorce certificate (if applicable);
- military service record;
- 8 photos of each applicant;
- reference letter from the bank;
- CV with work experience;
- proof of place to live;
- certificate of no criminal record;
- proof of legal source of income.
The final version of the list of documents depends on the investment method chosen by the foreigner. The dossier must be submitted with a translation into English and an apostille.
Investment Options for Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship
Foreign investors currently have 4 main ways to obtain citizenship of the Caribbean Islands by investment.
|Minimum amount per one applicant, USD
|Time to obtain citizenship
|Non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund NDF
|Purchase of government-approved real estate
|Financing an existing business
|1 500 000
|Donation to the University of the West Indies Foundation
Investment in the National Development Fund (NDF)
The exclusivity of this investment option is that the amount of investment will be the same for one applicant as well as for a family of up to four people. The rate in this case is 100,000 USD. For five or more applicants, the amount will be 125,000 USD. The money received by the state fund is used to upgrade medical facilities, open new educational institutions and develop green energy.
In addition, fees, duties, and background checks are paid. The processing fee is $30,000 USD for each applicant, and a $15,000 USD deposit is required for a fifth dependent.
The purchase of Antigua and Barbuda Real Estate
Citizenship applicants can invest in premium real estate approved by the government. These investments are refundable, as the foreigner has the right to sell real estate in the Caribbean islands after 5 years of ownership. The minimum amount of investment for one applicant is 400,000 USD, for two is 200,000 USD per each investor.
Business financial support
The government of Antigua and Barbuda has approved 11 business projects for foreign investment. Most of them relate to the construction industry. Also, foreign funds can be invested in call centers and enterprises of the agricultural industry. For a single applicant, the amount of investment will be 1,500,000 USD, if the application is joint and includes 5 applicants for the passport, each of them is required to contribute 400,000 U.S. dollars. Investors contribute an additional 150,000 USD for the fifth and every following family member.
Investing in the University of the West Indies Foundation
This investment option is only applicable to a family of six or more. The investment of 150,000 USD is non-refundable and is then used to finance education in the country. In addition, there is a $15,000 USD state processing fee for a family of seven or more per each additional family member included in the application.
The advantage of this method is that one of the applicant’s family members, after receiving a Caribbean passport, will be able to study and receive a scholarship at the University of the West Indies for 1 year free of charge. This is only possible if the student is under the age of 29.
According to most recent statistics, provided by IMIdaily, the most popular grounds for Caribbean citizenship are investments in the National Development Fund. 96% of applicants obtained an Antigua and Barbuda passport in 2019 this way. The uniqueness of the program is that the minimum contribution of 100,000 USD is the same for a single applicant as well as for a family of 4 (husband, wife and 2 children). The second most popular option is the purchase of premium real estate, as this type of investment is refundable.
The steps required to obtain citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda
- Prior document review. The applicant applies to a licensed agent of the Caribbean CBI program. Specialists of the intermediary company conduct a preliminary check of the investor’s documents, as well as those of their relatives and partners, for legal compliance and evaluate their chances of obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda passport.
- Drafting the dossier for submission to official bodies. The documents of the applicant are duly prepared for submission to official authorities for review. Specialists of the intermediary company fill in, translate, apostille and notarize all necessary forms, certificates and attestations.
- Due Diligence procedure. The file of the applicant(s) for a Caribbean passport is sent by the intermediary company’s lawyers to the Antigua and Barbuda Immigration Department, which conducts the due diligence. The department’s specialists investigate all the information about the principal applicant, his family members and companions. The result of the legal research directly determines the status of the foreign investor as a citizen of the island jurisdiction.
- Making Targeted Investments. If the applicant successfully completes the governmental verification procedure, they will receive notification that their application has been approved. Then, the applicant can make an investment in any of the options offered by the program: make a contribution to one of the funds, purchase real estate or finance an operating business.
- Obtaining the passport of Antigua and Barbuda. Within 4 weeks since the date of money transfer, the representatives of the intermediary company send the passport(s) and certificate(s) of naturalization to the address provided by the investor.
- The Oath of Allegiance. The principal applicant, their family members and companions prepare for the oath of allegiance with the support of lawyers, and then undergo it by any convenient means: directly in Antigua and Barbuda, at the country’s consulate, or by videoconference.
After completion of the procedure, all applicants are required to visit Antigua and Barbuda within the first 5 years and spend at least five days in the State to prove a de facto connection with the Caribbean country.
Investment programs of other Caribbean countries
The Caribbean investment citizenship programs, which in addition to Antigua and Barbuda operate in St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and Grenada, are similar in many ways. They all offer a fairly quick processing of passports, a variety of investment options, and complete confidentiality of the naturalization process.
The program, offered to wealthy investors in Antigua and Barbuda, stands out among the others in the following respects:
- min investment amount (50,000 USD lower than in Grenada);
- visa-free (11 more countries than Dominica and 5 more than St. Lucia);
- investment options (4 options versus 2 in Grenada and Dominica).
However, the Antigua and Barbuda passport for investment program has its downsides. For example, the country does not offer a refund option for investments in the National Development Fund or the University of the West Indies. Another aspect is the need to pay additional fees when applying for citizenship. In case of immigration of a 5-member family or more, the amount of fees can reach 25-50% of the total investment.
Immigration to Antigua and Barbuda of investor’s family
In addition to the main applicant, their immediate family members can become citizens of the island country. Under the terms of the investment program, the following are also eligible to obtain a Caribbean passport:
- children under 30 years old;
- children of any age with developmental disabilities;
- parents age 55 and older;
- unmarried siblings;
- grandparents age 55 and older.
Family members of the principal applicant can apply for citizenship at the same time as the principal applicant or later through reunification. The amount invested in the most popular investment options (contributions to a state fund and the purchase of real estate) may vary, depending on the number of the main applicant’s relatives participating in the program.
|Number of relatives participating
|Investment amount, USD
|Contribution to The National Development Fund (NDF)
|A family of 4 people, excluding siblings
|A family of 5 or more people
|Purchase of government-approved real estate
|A family of 4 people, excluding siblings
|A family of 5 or more people
The Caribbean state of Antigua and Barbuda offers wealthy foreigners truly profitable options for obtaining citizenship by investment. All conditions for comfortable life and profitable business are created in the country, and the procedure for obtaining a national passport provides confidentiality and legal transparency. Competent migration lawyers, who are well versed in international law and are easily navigated in the laws of the Caribbean countries, will help to immigrate to the island state safely.